tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN September 17, 2010 2:00am-3:00am EDT
tea party republican christine o'donnell raking in $# million in 24 hours and being advised by sarah palin to talk to friendly news outlets. as karl rove pointed out there are plenty of questions to ask o'donnell about how she is handling campaign money. karl paladino is willing to talk to us. what is up with those racially offensive and pornographic e-mails he used to forward to his friends the republican nominee for governor of new york joins us. a shocking story of a home invasion that turned into multiple murder.
a woman telling a bank teller her family is being held hostage and a short time later she is dead and so is her daughter. we begin keeping them honest. tonight she's sharing a forum with her opponent chris coons, in the money race she's raking it in, claiming close to $1 million in contributions in the last 24 hours alone. karl rove who dissed her primary night did something of a 180 today, and long-time supporter sarah palin gave her free advice about only talking to friendly media. watch. >> she's going to have to dismiss that go with her gut, get out there speak to the american people, speak through fox news and let the independents who are tuning in to you, let them know what it is that she stands for. the principles behind her positions. >> it used to be new candidates were advised to brush up on the issues so they could handle questions from anyone, even tough questions. the idea behind that is it prepared you also for actually governing.
but now the advice is only talking to sympathetic reporters either left or right depending on your politics. remember arizona's governor jan brewer after tough questioning from a reporter? she simply walked away. >> why won't you recant the comment you made earlier about the beheadings in the desert? >> seriously, that's a serious question, governor. >> this was an interesting evening tonight, and, of course, you saw a complete display of the difference between myself and terry goddard. >> can you answer the question, governor? please answer the question about the headless bodies. why won't you recant that? do you still believe that? come on, governor. >> okay. thank you, all. >> whoa, come on. >> she vowed not to debate her opponent anymore. sharron angle has a history of walking sometimes running away from unwanted questions. sometimes christine o'donnell, something christine o'donnell hasn't done so well when confronted with facts. we came across an interview she
did with delaware's wgmd radio shortly before the primary, talking with dan gaffney, a radio host, who backed her earlier senate bid. >> when you were speaking at an out of state group recently and told them that you won two out of three counties in delaware, what did you -- what did you mean? >> i don't think i ever said i won two out of three counties, but i -- >> let's listen to the audio, i have the audio right here. >> i was the 2008 endorsed candidate against joe biden and i won in two counties. we didn't have the support of our liberal republicans then. >> you said you won in two counties. >> you know what that probably was, you're on the campaign trail a lot, i meant tied. >> well you didn't tie. >> you've got a tracker following you waiting for you to trip up. >> yeah, but you didn't -- christine, christine, i'm just saying why -- you didn't tie him, either. >> look at the results. >> i did. he beat you. it was close. >> and what did they say, 49-49? i call that a tie. >> no, christine, he won in
votes. you know that. >> that was wgmd's dan gaffney. we'll see if o'donnell takes palin's advice and only talks with like-minded interviewers. long ago she appeared on mtv and with bill maher. she wasn't a candidate then, she spoke from her heart. it'd be a sad statement that now that she's running for office she's unwilling to do just that. a moment ago i mentioned karl rove's criticism of christine o'donnell on primary night. today karl rove walked it back a bit saying he was dishing up straight talk as a fox news analyst pointing out he did endorse her, he's quote for the republican in each and every race. but he also repeated the original criticism. >> then she needs to also be able to answer these questions about her personal background, explain how she got behind on her taxes, her mortgage, why she didn't take care of that college bill and do so in a way that's frank and honest. everybody in their life sometimes has difficulties. and honesty and candor is the best remedy here. she can't get away with saying the answer is on my website or it's puzzling to me why the irs
would file a lien for me when i didn't pay my taxes in 2005. she's got to be more honest than that. if she does, she's got a shot to win. but it's got to be passionate, factual and hard hitting. >> gary tuchman has been crunching the numbers on how the candidate spent some of the dollars from her last campaign. gary, what have you learned? >> reporter: christine o'donnell, speaking at a candidate's forum here in wilmington, delaware, tonight says america cannot spend its way to recovery but tonight major questions about her spending at the very least, the questions are troubling at the very most she might have violated election laws. we have documents right here that show christine o'donnell spent a lot of money on what appears to be personal effects and it wasn't during a campaign and it was campaign money. the spending occurred three months after she lost to joe biden in 2008, a year before she announced she was going to run as a candidate in 2010. the federal election commission allows you to spend money after a campaign to retire debt. but not to add to the debt.
and she has lots of debt from 2008 which troubles a lot of people. they think it's hypocritical because she wants america to spend what it has. but let us show you some of the checks and you decide for yourself if she should have written these checks from her campaign money. for example, a check for 475 bucks, she labeled it as mileage reimbursement. remember, this is three months after the campaign is over. this means she drove hundreds of miles and submitted this with campaign funding. also $157 on a phone bill from verizon wireless. by all indications, this is a personal phone. also $28 at a gas station in a town where she's originally from, morestown, new jersey. she still has family there. this is campaign money, no campaign going on. $600 for her utility bill paid to delmarva power. also piddly expenses and these increasing her debt and these are telltale. you wouldn't have to spend this for a campaign, let alone a campaign not going on anymore. $19 at pike lanes, a bowling alley, paying for about eight games of bowling. also $26 for a meal at ruby
tuesday's restaurant. campaign money once again, and then she even used campaign money for a $2.84 charge at staple's. in addition she paid rent money with her campaign funding. now the home she lives in right now doubles as her campaign headquarters. she lives there sometime, so do her campaign workers. but the money for her rent was paid during a time when she was no longer in a campaign. we can tell you her detractors say she does this because she hasn't had a real job for years. she has no source of income. she needs to live on campaign money. of course we wanted to talk to her about, it i talked to a top aide face to face last night, said we have a lot to ask her about, they said she's too tired to talk to you, try to talk to her tomorrow. we sent a request. we heard nothing. i saw her today asked if we could talk to her, her aide said she did not want to talk. we've talked to employees of hers who quit. they say they were not paid money they were owed and they are angry she has spent so much money on charges like we just read to you. >> supporters say this is just
democrats trying to dig up dirt on her and that these amounts were kind of small amounts, couple hundred dollars here, a couple hundred there. what does the state republican party have to say? >> reporter: right, the state republican party here in wilmington, delaware, the chairman of the party before the election was strongly in favor of mike castle. what's being said now is that they came up with a statement, they will support all republican candidates but conspicuous by its absence was no mention of this particular candidate, christine o'donnell. i called and asked, does that mean you are supporting her, you're not supporting her, they wouldn't comment. we're talking about former employees, this is important. today we talked to a former financial adviser who worked for the campaign for two months and said he had to quit as a financial adviser because he was aghast at what he saw. >> she would withdraw money for mileage. she doesn't own a car. didn't own a car at the time. and you can only do one or the other. take a mileage expense or gas. she was doing both. >> reporter: she's not even running for anything. >> no.
she should have been paying anything left over and anything that came back in should have been paying off debt. none of that -- >> reporter: she was using it to go bowling. >> yeah. >> reporter: as a campaign expense. no campaign. >> and paying rent. >> reporter: and paying her rent with it. >> yeah. >> there's also been a lot of questions raised about her college record. what have you learned about that? >> reporter: she has very much stressed throughout her life that it's never proper to lie, that you should always tell the truth, but many people who know her, many people who used to work with her say they've always assumed she was a college graduate because she told them she went to fairleigh dickinson university in new jersey in the 1980s. turns out she wasn't a college graduate, just this summer she graduated college. had to take an additional course. there were apparently financial issues but was telling many people she was a college graduate and it turns out she wasn't. also another issue that comes to the credibility factor, her last job that we know was in 2004. it was for a conservative think tank here in wilmington.
a publisher. and she ended up getting fired from that job. she wasn't happy she was fired. she ended up suing them claiming gender discrimination. and suing them for $6.9 million. now, the reason why that's relevant, and the case was eventually dropped. she dropped the lawsuit. don't know why. she dropped the lawsuit. she did say she couldn't afford it but we don't know if there's more to it. the reason it's significant, though, so many people, particularly conservative republicans, particularly people in the tea party, aghast at our legal system and that people see for so much money and she sued for $6.9 million. as far as the people at that conservative institute, they say they can't talk on camera because they don't want to stir up a legal hornets nest but they do imply she's lying. not telling the truth. their quote to us, one quote, the good reputation of the institute stands for itself. now it is important to tell you that at this forum tonight and all over the state of delaware there are many supporters of this woman. obviously she got lots of votes, she won the primary. still they know there are these accusations, they feel it's a witch hunt. we talked to a couple who are very active in the tea party and
they say they are standing by their candidates. >> it makes me feel once again just like she's just like me. and just like a lot of the other delawarians that have had problems paying their mortgage, have, you know, taken years to pay off their school loans. i just feel like she's one of us. >> and who during all this time was the treasurer of her campaign? >> reporter: this is really interesting. under fec laws you must have a treasurer when you're spending campaign money. according to the documents we've investigated for 13 months between july 2009 and between august 2010 while she was spending money there was no treasurer. the treasurer was christine o'donnell. that appears to have violated fec laws but the fec has to determine that. why haven't they determined that yet? here's what has to happen. there has to be an investigation and we've just been informed that a nonpartisan watch dog group called the citizens for responsibility in ethics in washington is filing a complaint this monday with the fec about all the information and more that we just told you about. anderson?
>> gary, thanks. let's bring in senior political analyst david gergen, political analyst roland martin and ari fleischer, former white house spokesman for president george w. bush. roland, what do you make about this? is this much ado about nothing? the amounts we're talking about that gary was uncovering, those checks written with campaign funds were pretty small amounts. >> three words, integrity credibility and honesty. when have you people in the tea party who are protesting, who are saying the president of the united states and this congress is lying, when they are saying they cannot trust the word that's coming out of elected officials, these are some critical matters. and i think sarah palin is disingenuous and ridiculous to assert you should only talk to fox news and only talk to friendly people. if mcdonnell wants to have the integrity and be a member of the united states senate she should have the guts to stand in front of the media and answer these questions if she has a plausible answer, fine, give it. but stop trying to run from it. deal with it head on and not ignore it. >> ari, what about it?
is this nit-picking by democrats? >> i think these are issues she's going to have to deal with. that's what campaigns are about. but i think what's also going on here is two things. one in a year in which people are really fed up with excess spending, the huge amounts of government waste and the big debt our country has, these personal foibles people have become side issues because people are focused on the bigger policy issues and i think that's what's driving in delaware. but there's another factor, anderson, that riles up the conservative base of the republican party and that's the mainstream media. i think there's a real sense here that this is overkill. where is the coverage of charlie rangel's win in harlem where you have one of the most corrupt members of congress who got reaffirmed by the people of his district to come back to washington, what does that say and mean about the democratic party? and when it comes to all the gaffes that she was making in her statements, if gaffes
disqualify you from office, joe biden never would have made it to the vice president presidency, but he gets a pass from most of the national press corpses. >> oh, come on. >> there's a strong sense that when these things happen to conservatives, particularly women candidates, sarah palin and now christine o'donnell, there is a piling on factor that doesn't similarly happen when there are candidates on the other side of the aisle. >> david, do you think that's true? >> do i? >> yeah, do you? >> not really. my friend ari and i disagree on some of this. he talks about flaws, these are not flaws these are fundamental issues. this is a candidate who has had trouble with money, trouble with jobs, trouble with the truth. those are pretty fundamental to any candidacy. i think the interesting thing, anderson, in all of this is the republicans brought up these issues during the campaign. you know, the castle campaign ran against her based on a lot of this. advertisements bringing this to public attention. i think a measure of how angry the people in the tea party are, how frustrated they are, that they're willing to overlook all this and say we still want to send a message. >> that's the point i'm making, these are legitimate issues she has to deal with.
when an election is driven so much by substance and policy, the spending problems in washington, that's i think why people are willing to, in an election cycle like this, to not weigh those measures as seriously as they normally would. >> roeland, we have to take a quick break, but we'll have our panel continue just on the other side of the break. the live chat is up and running. do you think this is important? weigh in from home or wherever you are, just ahead, also joining us, carl paladino, the bigger upset winner from primary night. he's now sent out garbage-scented letters to talk about the corruption in albany. we'll talk about that. and heart wrenching moments in a home invasion murder trial. the defense is trying to shift blame on to the police. this is the last time we will see this woman alive as she's telling a teller at a bank she needs money and people are holding her family hostage. we'll be right back.
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talking about christine o'donnell, she's got enthusiasm on her side, a tidal wave of money but also some questions dogging her. back with our panel, david gergen, roland martin and ari fleischer. roland you were about to say something? >> i get the whole deal in terms of wanting to criticize the mainstream media, but don't sit here and talk about piling it on. we need to bring up charlie rangel? wait a minute. the republicans brought up the same charges against her. the voters in the primary elected her. the allegations placed against charlie rangel, the voters there elect the him. what's the difference there? you should, as a person who stood and represented the president, you should be saying to her, answer the questions. this isn't piling on. and to suggest we are overspending in washington and people are tired of that, if you are spending campaign money for personal reasons, how are you
then going to handle the people's money if you're put in the u.s. senate? it's about trust. >> roland, rewind the tape. the very first thing i said is these are issues she is going to have to answer to. that is -- >> yeah, but start justifying it by blaming the media. >> here's the point. her opponent is getting no scrutiny. he wrote a paper when he was in college, i saw this today on the internet and it's true, that he described himself as a marxist with a beard. i would much rather have a lot of folks asking what is his ideology, what are the issues in this? yes, she deserves scrutiny and has to give answers but right now the arrows and darts are pointed at her and her opponent is given a total free pass. >> we should cover both people. >> is something one wrote in college, i mean, if we're all held to that standard, i can't even remember what i wrote in college, but i certainly didn't describe myself as a marxist or anything, would have never done that, but i think i probably wrote some pretty stupid papers. >> if i described myself as being an extremist in college, i think people wanted to say,
well, are you still or when did that change, what was the path, what did you go through. >> fair enough. >> my point is he's scrutiny free right now because the only person get being scrutiny is christine o'donnell. she deserves scrutiny but she's not the only one. that's my point. >> david? >> i think ari has a legitimate point about what you write in college. the republican candidate in virginia for governor we through a scalding campaign because of what he'd written as a student and all that have was sort of revived during that. so he has a fair point this ought to be, both candidates ought to be revived. but my point here is on christine o'donnell, i think the reason why she's now, she's burst into the spotlight as the the woman who probably cost the republicans their chance at winning the senate. she is going to certainly contribute to a fear among republicans about crossing lines and working with democrats as mike castle did. voting for cap and trade, as he did, and have that bring him down sends a very big signal that it's going to be extremely
hard to govern and form bipartisan majorities no matter who wins in these elections. and finally, this election with her, you know, is probably going to drive or draw a lot of the republican candidates for president, you know this, draw them to the right. we're going to -- mitt romney was described in the financial times today as the guy who really lost tuesday night because he's too moderate. mitt romney? give me a break, is too moderate. >> there's no question mike castle would have won that seat. so they can't argue that point. i don't know that christine o'donnell has a chance to win, but i also know when rand paul defeated the establishment candidate in kentucky people said rand paul can't win and, of course, he's winning. you have to let this settle and see where it goes. >> she also just made close to $1 million, she has now a lot of money in the coffers and more is going to be pouring in. to ari's point, the more folks in the liberal media attack her or the mainstream media or ask questions, the more her
supporters seem to rally around her and raise money for her. >> these are the struggles within parties can be healthy. and i don't want it to go too far and i do think republicans have to be careful that we say people in the areas we need moderates to win, but let the ideological struggle play out and see which party emerges, but then you also have to build coalitions. parties have to do both. republicans have to do both. conservatives have to do both. >> and obviously, anderson, hopefully the conservative media will cover these stories as well. i also need to speak to the issue david brought up and that is the election hasn't taken place yet. i think it is wrong for us to somehow assume that, look, this is written off, she's going to lose. look. all the same people who said mike castle, this awesome politician, elected statewide so many times will blow her away, he lost. and so if you're a democrat sitting out there and you somehow think this is going to be a cake walk, she's going to be hitting the ground, hitting those doors, and so i just don't make that assumption.
i would say you better get your folks out or you know what? o'donnell might very well be the u.s. senator. >> seems every few years we learn this lesson in tv land, pundits, no offense to you guys, don't get it right. i remember pundits predicting john kerry on the eve of that election that he would be president. >> count the votes. >> it's up to the american people, we're reminded of that every time, and thank goodness for that. roland martin, ari fleischer, david gergen, thanks very much. coming up, the man who wants to be governor of new york, carl paladino rocked the establishment primary night and is promising to shake things up if elected. he's also making a stink with new campaign mailings that smell like garbage. we'll talk to him about that and a lot of his other positions. her story shocked the nation. she claimed an attacker threw acid in her face. tonight police say that story is changing and the bottom line could be even more shocking.
ahead, a deadly storm ripped through new york city, trees were toppled, thousands left without power. we'll have the latest on that coming up, but first isha sesay joins us. >> hi there, anderson. we've learned tonight an alleged acid attack in washington state was self-inflicted. bethany storro claimed an unknown assailant approached her in vancouver, washington, on august 30th and threw acid into her face. the vancouver police now say she admitted she did it to herself. storro could face criminal charges. baltimore police say john hopkins hospital was the scene of a murder/suicide today. the man who just received an update on his mother's condition shot and wounded a doctor. police say he then killed his mother before taking his own life.
the doctor is expected to survive. pope benedict xvi opened a four-day state visit to scotland and england today by meeting with queen elizabeth ii at her scottish residence. he then celebrated mass with tens of thousands before flying on to london. and just before the pope's arrival, britain's advertising standards authority censored an ad by an italian ice cream maker. take a look at this. the ad showed a pregnant nun eating ice cream with a tag line immaculately conceived, the company said it was using humor to send the message that, quote, ice cream is our religion. anderson, what do you think? too much? >> not a lot of people laughing about that, isha. we'll check in with you 20 more minutes with more headlines. a lot of people saying politics stinks, especially the man we'll talk to next. at least politics in new york. carl paladino won the republican nomination for governor of new
york on tuesday. shocked a lot of the so-called experts. i'll talk to him about the letters he's sending out now and other things. and bank surveillance catches the final moments of a woman's life. who's now trying to blame the police, it's our crime and punishment story ahead. (announcer) everything you need to stretch out on long trips. residence inn. old legs. p.a.d., the doctor said. p-a-d...
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welcome. welcome to kaplan university. call kaplan university now or visit us on-line look at all this stuff for coffee. oh there's tons. french presses, expresso tampers, filters. it can get really complicated. not nearly as complicated as shipping it, though. i mean shipping is a hassle. not with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service. if it fits it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. that is easy. best news i've heard all day! i'm soooo amped! i mean not amped. excited. well, sort of amped. really kind of in between. have you ever thought about decaf? do you think that would help? yeah. priority mail flat rate box shipping starts at $4.95, only from the postal service. one of the biggest surprises from tuesday's primaries was in the republican new york gubernatorial race. the tea party candidatar stund the establish the by beating gop favorite rick lazio. in this open letter to new
yorkers, former republican senator joined two democrats in blasting paladino, for being what they said was unfit to serve as governor, calling him dangerous, divisive and say he's rubbing a disingenuous campaign. i'll talk to him about that in a moment meanwhile, mr. paladino is pressing on sending out a campaign mailer that actually smells like garbage. the scent is meant to drive home his message that something stinks up in albany, the state's . capital. joining me now, new york gubernatorial candidate carl paladino. how did you come up with this idea to send out mailers that actually smell like garbage? >> well, i've been feeling my way through the political scene and somebody suggested that they have this type of thing available, so we looked into it and it's just basically a folder, and then when you open it, the -- when the oxygen hits the card, the stink startsnd the longer you keep -- the
longer you keep it open. >> the worse it gets? >> oh, sorry. yeah. the longer you keep it open, the worse the stink gets. >> i'm not sure if -- you're definitely catching a lot of attention with it, i'm not sure if you're going to anger some people who open it and don't want the smell, but it's a political gamble you're taking. >> actually, we haven't received absolutely no complaints, we've received no complaints and actually had a lot of people commend us on it. >> all right. i just want to go over a couple of your positions for our viewers who may not have followed your campaign up until now. abortion. you oppose it. what about in the case of rape or incest? >> no. they have adoption available for that. >> you have a plan for the unemployed and people on welfare and i was reading about it on your website today. you basically suggest renovating prisons and unused college campuses and say that those on welfare would live in these facilities voluntarily, i assume, and you say, quote, instead of handing out the
welfare checks we'll teach people how to earn their check, teach them personal hygiene, the personal things they don't get when they come from dysfunctional homes. critics are saying you are saying people who receive welfare are dirty, that they need personal hygiene lessons. >> no, that's not the case. we're talking about a dignity core that would help people who are disadvantaged move into the mainstream of our society. it would give them a pathway to a fulfilling life. yes, it would be basically for able-bodied people who are not otherwise accepted and the majority of welfare recipients are -- would be accepted. but for those able-bodied that would be mandatory. it's a work for the check. and to help them build the self-esteem -- >> but is there a dignity in sending them to a prison? >> no, it's not a prison. the facility that we're discussing was an old tuberculosis center up in the adirondack area of new york and it was for sale by the state of new york.
i said rather than sell it, we could use such a facility by just taking the barbed wire down. it's an old hospital facility. it was a dormitory style. >> you've talked about prisons and correctional facilities. i'm sorry, we have a bad delay, so that's why -- i don't want to seem like i'm jumping over you. there's a slight satellite delay. but you have said about reforming old prisons and retraining guards to become counselors. >> yes. because obviously we have a problem in the state right now with our correction officers, we have less -- we have less prisoners in our prisons. they're shutting down facilities, and in order to keep those people working, to keep those correctional officers, many could be retrained to be guidance counselors in such a program. >> why are you saying that people on welfare need hygiene lessons?
>> i trained troops part of the time i was in the reserves and at that time i learned that a lot of people from dysfunctional environments, they didn't know how to take care of themselves. and i made that remark that we could help them with personal things such as don't wear wet socks, wear two socks, and brush your teeth twice a day, and other hygiene and other matters that involve the individual. >> and you say this would be mandatory, people on welfare would be mandated to go live in these places? >> not people -- not mandated to go into that program, they could go into the education program, they could go into an urban program and live at home, they could -- it's only applicable to those who would choose to go into the rural program and work, say, for instance, in the adirondack mountains or in the -- in an environment that was not at home. otherwise, they could stay home. i mean, it's a totally voluntary, where you go into the program. most people we feel would take the education option and be able
to get an education to lead them into a more fulfilling life. it's intended to help people with their self-esteem and to find a pathway into our society. >> i know a lot of people brought this to your attention this year during the campaign, but now that you're the republican candidate, you're probably new to a lot of people. so i need to ask you about it again. you forwarded a number of x-rated e-mails, one even showing beastialty, a woman and a horse to an e-mail list of your friends and associates. how does that jibe with conservative values that you say you hold? >> i apologize to those that were offended by me forwarding e-mails to a personal group of friends. i forwarded them, i did. i'm in the construction industry. we've got all kinds of nonsense like that on a daily basis. the real obscenity, though, was albany. the real obscenity is the high crimes and misdemeanors we've allowed our political class to take, and feeding at the public
trough. >> you're saying you apologized to those who find it offensive. do you not find an e-mail with a woman and a horse, you know, an x-rated video, isn't that offensive? >> to be frank with you, i don't particularly remember that one. i remember some of the other one that -- >> you did send it, though. you're not -- >> i did, yes, i assume i did. >> it's offensive, isn't it? >> it definitely is offensive. yes. of course. >> you also forward a number of racially offensive e-mails, one of them used the "n" word and i'm showing our viewers, one said showed the rehearsal dinner of president obama's inauguration, which is basically images of, i think some sort of tribal dance, i'm assuming in africa. you've said in the past this is just humor, but i mean, i don't understand. why would you find that funny? >> i look back on it and i say,
yes, it probably was offensive to some people, i understand that. >> but was it offensive to you? >> i apologized to those people. >> saying it is offensive to some people is not saying it is offensive. is that offensive? >> most of the time in sharing these e-mails back and forth, we were paying very little attention during the heat of the day. it was careless. there's no question about it. >> but i mean, are those -- are those e-mails offensive? >> of course they're offensive. yes. i understand how they could be offensive to people and i've apologized to them. >> i appreciate your time. i'd like to go over a lot more issues, i hope to have you on the program again. i appreciate you coming on early in the program we talked about many politicians these days not wanting to come on programs where they feel they may be challenged. i appreciate you coming on and answering questions and we'd love to have you on again. >> i don't have any problem with it. thank you, anderson. >> appreciate your time. still ahead, crime, punishment and a new look at a family, this case is believable, it's happening in connecticut,
the court case is going on. take a look at this surveillance video. this is a wife, a mom desperately attempting to save her children's lives and her husband's life. they are being held hostage at home by home invaders. she's withdrawing $15,000 from the bank to pay off the men holding her family. what happens next is unthe lay of the land. but then autoblog.com calls your interior lexus quiet. and automobile magazine goes comparing you to a cadillac. ♪ e. ♪
in crime and punishment tonight, a home invasion horror. two ex-cons accused of slaughtering a connecticut family, a mother and two daughters tortured and then killed, the mom ordered to withdraw money from her bank. this is video from the bank, the last time we would see her alive. she was trying to save her kids and save her husband who were trapped at home being held hostage. in the end, her two daughters and that woman died. the only survivor, the husband,
the father, now facing the accused murderers in court. describing to the jury the terror that went on inside that house. randi kaye reports in tonight's crime and punishment. >> reporter: you're watching a wife and mother in a desperate attempt to save her family. this newly-released bank surveillance video shows jennifer hawke-petit, 9:17 a.m., withdrawing $15,000 from her bank in the small town of cheshire, connecticut. it was monday morning, july 23rd, 2007. about three miles away, something awful, something truly sinister was happening inside her home. her husband, william, was bound and gagged, and along with her two daughters, haley and michaela, was being held hostage. their mom hoped the $15,000 would be enough to convince the two men who allegedly broke in her home the night before, to spare her family's lives. at the bank she reaches out for help but has to be discrete because one of the two alleged kidnappers was just outside. the bank manager quietly calls 911.
9:21 a.m., police first learn of the home invasion and hostage situation. >> we have a lady who is in our bank right now who says that her husband and children are being held at their house. the people are in a car outside the bank. she is getting $15,000, that if the police are told they will kill her children and the husband. she is petrified. >> reporter: minutes later, she leaves the bank with the ransom money. >> they told her they wouldn't hurt anybody if she got back there with the money. she believed them. i think she's walking out now. she's walking out now. >> reporter: 9:26 a.m., hawke-petit gets in her car with suspect stephen hayes. the bank manager describes the vehicle to the police. officers are dispatched to the house to set up a perimeter. 9:27 a.m., a police captain tells officers not to approach the house. almost 30 minutes go by. still, not a single officer
approaches the petit home. no other authorities are alerted. not the fire department, not state police. in court, police testified that was protocol. in a hostage situation, they said, they don't storm the house. adding they had no reason to believe anyone was in immediate danger. at 9:54 a.m., a police dispatch. dr. william petit who would turn out to be the only survivor of this horrific crime was in the yard calling for help. he was bleeding badly from his head, his ankles still tied. by now, nearly 40 minutes had passed since the bank manager had warned cheshire police about the nightmare scenario unfolding at the family's home. 40 minutes. police would soon learn jennifer hawke-petit had been strangled. she and one of her daughters, sexually assaulted. in chilling testimony dr. petit described how he had been beaten with a baseball bat, then tied to a pole in the basement.
he said the suspects yelled to him, quote, don't worry, it's all going to be over in a couple of minutes. and it was. dr. petit managed to free himself through a basement door but minutes later the house was on fire. his wife and two daughters dead. hayes has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault and murder. around 10:00 a.m. the suspects race out of the driveway in the family's suv. as smoke billows from the back of the home, the suspects slam into police cruisers. only then do officers realize the situation has much more urntht. randi kaye, cnn, new york. >> it's just so sickening, the story, a family tortured and slaughtered allegedly by these two men. police say the suspects met at a halfway house and then plotted thei a crime that ended with those deaths of a mom and two daughters. one of the men, steven hayes is on trial for his life, to try and save hayes from the death penalty, defense attorneys are pointing the finger at the
police of all people saying a delayed and flawed response to the scene contributed to the tragedy. it's a risky argument to say the least but is it true? earlier. this case is just so stunning. from what you know, mike, should the police have done anything differently when they arrived on the scene? it was some 33 minutes before they actually saw the people leaving the house. they didn't seem to really get involved. >> from the time of the 911 call from the bank teller telling 911 that, hey, this woman is here, she's in our bank, she says that they've been very nice, that if they give them the money they'll go away. from the time of that call to the time police were able to get a perimeter set up around that neighborhood, but they actually also had someone outside with eyes on the house trying to find out what's going on inside. >> they said there was nothing unusual they could see from the outside going on. >> exactly. from the information they had to work with, from mrs. petit and
their procedure that i think they were following, because you don't want to go rush right in, they don't know what the situation's going on inside that house, it could have made things even worse. >> it's sort of damned if you do, damned if you don't. had they rushed in and something bad happened then the police would be blamed. i hate to second guess police in something like this, but it's the worst -- it's sort of a nightmare scenario, someone invading your home, it seems so horrific it can happen and it's a bizarre strategy by the defense. they're blaming the police. even if they had made a mistake, their client still allegedly committed the crime. >> you know, we've all covered a lot of crimes, and i remember vividly when this happened in connecticut thinking, this is the worst. this is the single worst crime i have ever encountered, at least in the united states. and in terms of this defense strategy, the answer is, so what? if the police made a mistake, so what? how does that help the defense? i think the approach here and look, the defense lawyers have
to say something, is simply to throw things against the wall, try to blame someone else, try to complicate the story, try to deflect attention. i don't think it's going to work. but i certainly don't blame them for trying it. it is certainly better than focusing on the behavior of their client. >> they tried to go for some sort of a deal that they would get life in prison, you know, if they pleaded guilty, but the husband who survived doesn't want that. >> right, and mr. petit has become a political figure in connecticut and in fact a state which technically has the death penalty on the books but has hardly executed anyone over the past several decades, mr. petit has become a leader of the forces bringing it back. and he brings of course a moral authority and political attention to the subject that it really hasn't had in many years there. >> you know, mike, you look at
this, the bank tape of her, you know, the last images we see of her before she ends up being strangled, raped and killed, if you're the teller, i mean, i guess the teller did all she could. >> sure. >> they got the money and alerted the police. it's one of those difficult situations where people say don't call the police but have you to call the police. >> oh, they did the absolutely right thing, anderson, by calling the police while she was still there in the bank. even to say, there's one person in the car, so they knew there might have been another person back at the house. and again, it seemed as if mrs. petit thought, well, if i give had n't done anything to us as n of yet. >> you know, anderson, in terms of legal strategy, what's going on here, the real defense strategy is to have one defendant blame the other. they're being tried separately. and that is really the heart of the defense attempt to avoid the death penalty is to say things got out of control because of the other guy.
>> it reminds me of "in cold blood" the truman capote. the book based on the killing, i think in kansas i guess back in the -- >> it is that scary, and that bad. jeff toobin and mike brooks, appreciate you being on. >> thanks, anderson. we'll continue to follow that story and let you know what happens to those accused killers. up next, new video of the deadly storm that tore through new york city a short time ago. also a new book claiming michelle obama told france's first lady that she can't stand being first lady and her life is hell. what the white house is saying about those comments, next.
got an update on some of the other stories we are following. >> a powerful and deadly storm blew into new york city early this evening. this video shows how fast the storm moved into the region. the new york fire department the senate today passed a $42 billion bill designed to help small businesses hire new employees. ir po suppican senators broke